Five facts you might not know about water safety

Topics: Water Safety
August 23, 2013

5 facts you might not know about water safety

Summer is winding down, which means fewer days splashing around in the pool, visiting local lakes or even heading to the sea shore. But for those occasional late-summer scorchers, it's still important to keep water safety in mind. Drowning and other water-related emergencies remain a dangerous reality, and it's not just children who need to be prepared. Teens and adults, whether responsible for watching after youth or heading into the pools, lakes and oceans themselves, should also be properly equipped with water safety knowledge.

The Canadian Red Cross is one of the country's largest charity organizations, and water safety education is one of the numerous initiatives it provides throughout the year. The Canadian Red Cross is always prepared to lend assistance to those in need, whether in response to emergencies and disasters within Canada or world health crises far overseas. One of the Canadian Red Cross's prime goals is to increase youth education with the help of a team of dedicated staff and trained volunteers. These five water safety facts can help people acquire greater knowledge and skills.

1. The Canadian Red Cross water safety programs provide essential skills
More than 60 years ago, the Canadian Red Cross began its water safety day camp on Prince Edward Island, and it continues to this day. In different camp programs levels for kids between ages five and 13, campers are taught essential water safety skills by Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Instructors.

2. Drowning is the second leading preventable cause of death for children younger than 10
Drowning is preventable, especially in young children. Proper training can help reduce the risk by educating both children and parents or guardians in water safety.

3. The Red Cross Swim program teaches swimming skills and safety knowledge
Education is a good baseline for water safety, but it's not always enough on its own. The Red Cross Swim program teaches youth how to swim as well, so that in dangerous situations they know how to react and have the physical skills to keep themselves safe. This is the most effective way to reduce water-related injuries and fatalities.

4. Over 40 per cent of spinal injuries cause by careless diving occur in backyard pools
One of the most important techniques swimming students can learn is safe diving. This means knowing the depth of water before diving in. Too often, individuals are seriously injured due to careless diving. Smart swimming teaches you to always enter both unfamiliar and familiar water feet first to be sure of the water depth and check for other potential hazards.

5. Swimming is fun and good for you, too
Swimming is a great way to have fun, whether at an indoor pool during the winter or at the beach in summertime. But when swimming is done safely, it also engages all the muscle groups in the body, and it helps develop strong bodies, good posture, physical endurance and flexibility.

The Canadian Red Cross has been helping to keep Canadians safe in the water since 1946, but it hasn't been able to alone. As a humanitarian organization, the Canadian Red Cross depends on help from charitable donors like you to keep water safety and swimming programs going strong. Donate today online or at your local Red Cross office to help make a difference in both Canadian communities and the world at large.